Jul. 8—FALLS MILLS, Va. — Area residents with a million dollars to spare can now buy a local lake.
The Falls Mills Lake, a popular fishing and recreational site in Tazewell County, is for sale on the private market. A local real estate agency, Caldwell Banker Select Real Estate in Wytheville, Va., is currently listing the 164 acre lot and lake for $1 million.
According to the listing on the realtor.com website, the Falls Mills Lake property consists of an approximately 100-acre lake, 42-wooded acres and 21-acres of wetlands. It says the lake was built by the Norfolk and Western Railroad in the early 1900s and would make the “ultimate getaway and vacation property.” The website goes on to say that a potential buyer could build their dream home “overlooking their own private lake.”
It isn’t common for a lake to be sold on the private market, according to listing agent Kim Gravely with Caldwell Banker Select Real Estate.
“It’s very unusual,” Gravely said. “I’ve never had a lake for sale before.”
Gravely said the lake and 164 acre property is getting a lot of attention from prospective buyers. She said there are “many possibilities” for the property.
“I think there are several possibilities, and it just really depends upon the type of buyer we have,” she said. “I feel like we’ve had an interest anywhere from an individual who asked about building a home to more of a commercial interest to have some type of development and to take part in the recreational activities.”
The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors previously had an option to buy the lake, and were seeking proposals for the construction of rustic cabins along the lake to serve ATV tourists and other visitors to the county. However, the board voted unanimously during its January meeting not to purchase the lake, according to Northern District Supervisor Maggie Asbury.
Asbury said the lake was privately owned, and the owners were “wonderful to work with.” However, she said the board ultimately decided it wouldn’t be able to come up with needed revenue to upgrade the lake and construct the proposed cabins while at the same time pursuing an expansion of the Spearhead Trail in Abbs Valley to the Cavitt’s Creek Recreational site .
Asbury said several heirs from a family living in Bland and Wythe counties have ownership shares in the lake.
Both the Falls Mills Lake and the Cavitt’s Creek Park are located in the Northern District of Tazewell County.
Asbury said the county is working with an investor who is interested in developing the Cavitt’s Creek site, and connecting the Spearhead Trail system in Abbs Valley with Cavitt’s Creek.
“That is one of the things the tourists from our area have asked for,” Asbury said. “They want and need more (ATV) mileage. So this would be needed. It is still in the planning stages, but we are very close.”
In terms of the Falls Mills Lake, Asbury said the county did participate in an agreement beginning in 2021 with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to oversee the Falls Mills Lake. Asbury said he didn’t know if the agreement with the state would remain in effect if the property was sold on the private market.
Gravely said the new property owner will decide whether or not to continue the lease agreement with the state.
“The agreement is still in place, so the lake is still being leased by the state,” Gravely said. “It would be up to the state and the new owners if they wished to continue it.”
Another factor that played into the board’s decision not to purchase the lake back in January was opposition from residents of the Falls Mills community to the idea of rustic cabins and ATV lodging along the lake, said Eastern District Supervisor Charlie Stacy.
“We wanted that, but we just couldn’t really justify the expense of it,” Stacy said of the purchase of the Falls Mills Lake. “Not just the expense, but the ongoing obligation of operating it is extremely expensive. We’ve had a lot of resistance from people in the community over the thought of us buying it and putting an ATV facility in it.”
If the lake is sold on the private market, the county won’t have a lot of control over what happens to it. However, Asbury said he is hopeful that if it is sold the new owner will continue to allow the community to use it as a public recreation site.
“Since it is in my district I would certainly be hopeful that someone would have the money to purchase it,” Asbury said. “Not just to buy it, but to enhance it. And not just to clean up the lake, but to do some activities around the lake. My hope is someone would buy it and have the money to enhance it for that.”
The property is currently listed as active on realtor.com.
With a 30-year-fixed mortgage, and a $200,000 downpayment, the monthly mortgage bill for the property would be $6,578 a month for 30 years, according to the Realtor.com mortgage calculator.
— Contact Charles Owens at [email protected]
— Contact Charles Owens at [email protected]. Follow him @BDTOwens